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Santa Monica College Celebrates Release of Spring Literary Review  

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Hector Gonzalez
Staff Writer

April 7, 2016 -- As editor of a twice-annual review of Los Angeles’ best and brightest authors, Andrew Tonkovich has a tough job -- tough but sweet.

Twice a year, Tonkovich gets to judge hundreds of stories submitted by both stellar veteran authors and promising up-and-coming writers, compiling the very best of the offerings into the Santa Monica Review, published every spring and winter by Santa Monica College.

“We get around 50 submissions a week, so for me, unfortunately, the most important part of my job is telling a lot of people no,” said Tonkovich, who has been editing the review for the past 18 years.

“But on the other hand, the job of the editor should be hard,” he added.

Tonkovich must whittle down hundreds of submissions to the 30 to 40 published each year in the review’s two editions. The anthology is the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a community college, according to SMC officials.

“We get so many submissions, we can afford to be selective,” said Tonkovich and also hosts “Bibliocracy” on KPFK-FM.

Making the cut in this season’s edition of the Santa Monica Review are 18 original short stories from such noted authors as Stephen Copper, the biographer of John Fante; Vicki Forman; Benjamin Weissman and Alisa Slaughter.

Two new writers also have their work spotlighted in the new review -- SMC English instructor Dawna Kemper and SMC writing workshop student Grace Singh Smith.

To celebrate the spring edition’s release, Tonkovich will join a launch party on Sunday, April 26, at SMC’s Performing Arts Center at 11th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard at 5 p.m.

Featured will be novelist Jerry Sthal (“Permanent Midnight”), who will read excerpts of his work, as well as readings by Dwight Yates (“Bring Everybody”), Janice Shapiro (“Bummer”), and David Hernandez (“Hoodwinked”). Copies of signed books will be available for purchase.

The launch party “is a terrific opportunity to hear serious contemporary writing read by its authors, many with national reputations, some at the beginnings of their careers,” said Tonkovich.

Tickets to the event are $10 per person and available now at

The Santa Monica Review also will be featured at Santa Monica College’s booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, at USC.

At $7 per copy, the magazine is also available to buy online, at the SMC bookstore, and at Beyond Baroque in Venice, Skylight Books and other area book stores.

For more information, visit

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